Federal Workers Bear Brunt of Shutdown

Government agencies, national parks and monuments, including the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, have been closed for three days due to a government shutdown, brought on by Republican lawmakers’ refusal to pass a budget unless Democrats agreed to defund Obamacare.

The government shutdown poses severe risks for federal workers and their local communities, says NFFE-IAM Federal District 1 President William R. Dougan in a new Machinists News Network video.

To watch the video, click here.

As Congress fails to pass a budget and enters day three of closed government, Dougan says 70 percent of his 110,000 membership are being held hostage. In all, at least 800,000 federal workers, including NFFE-IAM members, are either furloughed or working without pay.

“They’re confused. They’re stressed and they’re scared,” said Dougan. “With a furlough, some of them are going to be put in a situation where they are not going to get paid, not going to make mortgage payments, make car payments, make tuition payments for their kids and won’t even be able to put food on their table.”

Dougan says many NFFE-IAM members work outside of Washington, DC. They live in small towns around the country, performing a variety of jobs ranging from fighting fires to providing health care to veterans. The shutdown will have a severe impact on those local economies.
“These people spend their dollars there at the grocery stores and retail businesses,” said Dougan. “Without that income, we’re going to see those local economies suffer.”

The shutdown began Tuesday, October 1, 2013, when Republican members of Congress refused to pass a budget unless Democrats agreed to defund the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. However, there are reports today that, in a push to end the shutdown swiftly, a growing number of House Republicans say they will now support a bill to fund the government without the health care requirement.

Take action now by clicking here. Tell your Senators and Representative to pass a clean budget and re-open the U.S. government for business.